Visitors are always welcome at the North Florida School of Aikido! You may come by to observe or participate in any class with no obligation to join. If you wish to participate, loose-fit clothing is suggested, and please remove jewelry (watches, necklaces, dangling earrings, etc.) before you step on the mat. There are no requirements as to which classes you attend, but attendance at least twice a week is recommended for substantial progress. You must sign a Release Form before stepping on the mat.
Monthly Membership Dues
Payments are processed on the 10th of every month by an automatic payment system.
$80.00 monthly dues for arts that meet three times or more per week
$60.00 monthly dues for arts that meet twice per week
$50.00 monthly dues for high school or university students
The $70.00 one-time fee (first year of insurance and uniform)
$35.00 per year is included in the monthly dues
Yearly ASU Dues
You are not eligible for Aikido belt testing unless you are current in your organizational dues.
$45.00 per year for kyu ranks (white belts)
$75.00 per year for Yudansha (black belts)
Aikido Testing Fees
$55.00 for 6th through 1st kyu
Liability Release Form
Credit Card Authorization Form
What is Aikido?
Aikido (“the way of harmony”) is a martial art developed in Japan. The founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba (commonly referred to in the art as O Sensei, or “great teacher”), mastered martial arts like Daito Ryu and Ju-Jitsu as well as sword and spear arts before incorporating what he learned into what eventually became known as Aikido. Although there are numerous styles of Aikido practiced throughout the world, Aikido generally emphasizes the use of position, timing, joint locks, and throws to unbalance and take down an opponent. At its higher levels, Aikido provides a means of internalizing the principles of harmony and conflict resolution to produce balanced and peaceful individuals and communities.
Do Aikido classes involve weapons training?
Yes. Since Aikido developed from sword and spear movements, classes often involve the use of wooden swords (bokken), bamboo swords (shinai), wooden short staffs (jo), and wooden knives (tanto). These weapons are used to enhance and illuminate the open-hand techniques. While some students choose to purchase their weapons, all students have access to an extensive collection of dojo weapons.
Do I have to observe any particular rules when training with weapons?
Yes. Although most training weapons we use are made of wood, they can still cause serious damage. During class, students must only use weapons when and as directed by the instructor. When removing a weapon from the rack, handle it with both hands and turn and bow to the shomen. Dojo weapons are marked with NFA. Please do not any other weapons as they likely belong to another student.
What is the class schedule?
There are classes offered three days a week. You can view the calendar for an up-to-date class listing. The Saturday class is designed as more of a tutorial for beginners; however, students of all experience levels are strongly encouraged to attend all weekly classes.
What do I need to begin training?
First and foremost is a willingness to step onto the mat. Feel free to watch a class to gain a familiarity with Aikido. When you’re ready to start and if you have a plain white uniform (gi), you can wear it. If not, sweatpants and a plain T-shirt are fine until you can obtain a uniform. Show up about 15 minutes before a class begins to fill out some paperwork, but don’t worry about paying right away. North Florida School of Aikido offers the first few classes free of charge. When you decide to continue training, you can complete the authorization form and send a photo of the signed form to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is a hakama and do I need one?
Hakama are an important component of the traditional Aikido uniform. They contribute to the overall experience of moving in the art, sometimes obscuring foot placement and other subtle movements. The folding of the hakama is a traditional ritual that follows most Aikido classes. Students take the opportunity to chat with one another while they fold and thus extend the training experience through conversation. At seminars, an experienced student from the home dojo should offer to fold the visiting teacher's hakama as a gesture of respect. In our dojo, students may wear a hakama after passing their first rank test, Rokyu.
Are there contracts to sign?
No. North Florida School of Aikido does not require you to sign a contract. As long as you are a current dues-paying member, you are welcome to attend classes according to your schedule. Of course, the more classes you attend regularly will lead to a deeper understanding of the techniques and the art itself. The automatic payment withdrawal is not a contract, since it can be canceled at any time.